Isha Kriya is a Yogic Practice Designed by Sadhguru
It is a tool to release one’s identification with the body and the mind.
Almost all problems at a psychological level are caused due to wrong identification with the mind.
Through this practice, one can become untangled, and free from bondage with the body and the mind.
I have already completed 40 days of Isha Kriya, and I am happy to share my experience with you.
Note: I had attempted Isha Kriya earlier, but had problems sticking with it.
This time, I’ve taken a more disciplined approach.
Isha Kriya: A Profound Experience
I started the practice, by first doing the Yoga Yoga Yogeshwaraya chant. This was recommended by Sadhguru to boost immunity.
I then followed it by Isha Kriya, a 12 minute practice.
The first day itself I noticed a shift in my energy, and mental clarity. I noticed I wasn’t much clogged up in my thoughts, and even felt more stable with my emotions.
There were occasions though where my mind felt unsettled, even overwhelmed.
I did not let that keep me from doing the practice. Even when it got difficult.
When you do Isha Kriya, the mind may throw some tantrums, to keep you from further doing it, to which the best response is to ignore it.
It took around two weeks for me to feel grounded, and more established with the practice.
I noticed that my meditations were more deep, hardly any thoughts or images would crop up, and all that was left was a tranquil dark blank space.
In terms of emotions, I was able to rise above them quickly, for I was no longer strongly identified with them.
It’s a huge step, because a lot of energy gets wasted in trying to fix things, that need to be left alone.
In a way, you become a master of your senses, and not their slave.
Why You Should Do Isha Kriya
India has an ancient history of spiritual development, and we used to have a special education system called the Gurukul.
While the education imparted was to acquire knowledge and skills in various areas of life, the primary focus was to help each individual come to know thyself.
This was done by living with the guru under one roof.
Those days are long gone, and we have completely lost touch with what matters most — Self-Knowledge.
In this age of information explosion, we tend to acquire knowledge intellectually.
We have come to believe that whatever is worth knowing, can be known through the mind.
As a matter of fact, we have also learned to derive a sense of identity through the mind.
Totally oblivious to the fact, that the mind is simply a tool to enhance life, but is not life itself.
An important distinction worth making note of.
When an ignorant person hears this, he immediately ignores it, because, to him, his mind is his life. His whole identity, his sense of self, is at the mercy of his mind.
Take that out of the equation, and he doesn’t know who he is anymore. And that is something scary, something he wishes to avoid, because even though the mind may have become a source of constant torture, it is still something familiar.
Leaving the domain of the mind, and coming to life, is an uncharted terriorty, the great unknown.
When your consciousness is attached to this mind created self, it is afraid to let-go of this attachment. For in a way doing so is the same as allowing the false self to die.
Yet, if you remain stuck, and constrained within the domain of the mind, you remain entraped in a prison, and a space which constantly lives in fear, and in desire.
The mind created self survives on desire. And just as one desire is fulfilled, it latches on to another. Which creates tremendous suffering.
As the Buddha has rightly said, “Desire is the root cause of sorrow.”
And the only reason why you suffer, is because you are deriving your identity from this never content, always restless, mind self.
Your true self is desireless, and at peace now! Yes, it really is!
But when you are deriving a sense of identity from the mind, you cannot comprehend this fact. For It is not something “intellectual.”
You cannot understand your true self — it is beyond the mind.
All you can do is experience it.
That’s where Isha Kriya comes in.
It is the first step towards liberation from the bondage of the mind.
It is also the first step in the right direction — towards self-knowledge.
The key to which is practice.
You can read about it all day long, you can talk about it, you can analyze it, but that will be of little use.
If you want know the experience, practice the kriya.
It is just 12 minutes, simple, yet, potent.
How Long Should You Do Isha Kriya
Sadhguru recommends doing it twice a day, for 48 days, or once a day for 90 days.
I do it every day before going to bed. It has helped me stay disciplined with the practice.
As such, given the lifestyle that we lead these days, I recommend you don’t stop doing this practice ever, unless you have found something better.
How Soon Can You Experience Benefits of doing Isha Kriya
You might experience a difference right after the first session, or after several sessions.
It does not matter how long it takes, what matters is, it works.
Even if the changes are not apparent in the beginning, you can still be rest assured that the changes are starting to happen at a deeper level.
This is why persistence with the practice is the key.
Each day you do Isha kriya, you get closer, and closer to realizing your true self.
Your sense of identification with the mind grows weaker with each passing day.
Whether you have conditions like Anxiety or Depression, or generally feel stressed, stay with the practice, and you will certainly move out of its grip on you.
Your true self is Sat-Chit-Ananda, or Truth-Consciousness-Bliss. When you get there, you will know it.
Diet and Precautions for doing Isha Kriya
As such there are no particular requirements, but it is generally good to do the kriya by keeping a gap of 2 hours after your meal, or do it on an empty stomach.
Make sure that you are in a distraction free zone. It is best to lock yourself up in a room so you do the practice unhindered.
It is also important that you switch off, or keep your mobile on silent mode.
Those 12 minutes ought to be totally dedicated to the practice.
This is because when you are doing the kriya, certain processes start taking place in the body, which you do not want to interrupt.
It is also good to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and especially after you are done with the practice.
If you feel high levels of stress or anxiety, it is also good to supplement with Ashwagandha or Tulsi, which is an adaptogen, and helps you deal with difficult emotions.
Tips to Boost The Benefits You Get from Isha Kriya
- Do some walking or deep breathing exercises before you begin the practice.
- Chant Yoga Yoga Yogeshwaraya 12 to 21 times, before you begin the practice.
- Sit in a dark room. The darkness somehow has a calming effect, and allows you to be in your body more easily.
- Remind yourself throughout the day, “I am not the body, I am not even the mind.” This method of reminding yourself throughout the day, helps you from slipping into psychic sleep, and all the issues that come with it.
- Last but not the least, have fun! Don’t take things too seriously. Do it with a light hearted mood, and enjoy the experience.
- Remember, you have no idea what the experience is like, so don’t expect a certain experience based on what you heard from me, or from others. The experience is unique to you. No one else can experience what you will experience.
As to me, I will continue doing this kriya at least once every day.
As you can see by now, there are several benefits of doing this kriya, and I would highly recommend you try it.
Just don’t do it with much expectations, and certainly, do not expect your experience to be similar to mine.
Each person is at a different stage in their life, and will respond differently to yogic practices.
This is a basic practice, suitable from beginner to expert yoga practitioners.
Feel free to try it, and get in touch with me should you need any inputs.
As Sadhguru says, you will actually see the difference between you and the mind. You can experience the distance/the separation. Which is essential to no longer derive a sense of identity from your mind.
Once this happens, you will know what it feels like to be finally liberated from your own mind.
Keep doing the practice, and you will definitely get to this point and beyond.